House explosion kills 1, damages nearby buildings in Polk County

An explosion and a fire destroyed all but the foundation of a home on Winkle Road in southwest Polk County on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021. A woman was killed and nearby homes sustained broken windows as a result of the blast.

The cause of a home explosion that killed an 83-year-old Polk County woman is thought to be related to a propane gas incident, according to state fire investigators.

Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King announced last week that the blast, which completely destroyed the 1,290-foot, 21-year-old home Saturday morning, Dec. 11, on Winkle Road just north of the Haralson County line, was reported to be heard and felt several miles away.

“An elderly woman died in this tragic incident,” King said in a release. “At this point, the cause of the blast is thought to be related to a propane incident in the home.”

The release said the explosion remains under active investigation by the Georgia Fire Marshal’s Investigation Unit with assistance from the Polk County Fire Department and Polk County Police Department.

County fire and police responded to a call of a house that had exploded and was on fire on the small road south of Cedartown at 9:50 a.m. on Dec. 11. Once on the scene firefighters began attacking the fire in the remains of the structure and began search and rescue operations to locate anyone in the rubble.

First responders found Faye Harrison, 83, deceased under the rubble. She was the lone resident of the house and no other person was found.

State investigators determined there was no suspicion of foul play and the possibility of the explosion being caused by propane could not be ruled out.

According to Polk County Public Safety Specialist Landon Hendrix, several structures surrounding the residence where the explosion occurred suffered damage as a result of the explosion.

One mobile home was shifted off its foundation and multiple houses had windows that were blown out. Residents in homes that were damaged by the blast are receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

“The Polk County Fire Department would like to thank all agencies that assisted in the incident, and send their condolences to those affected by this tragedy,” Hendrix said in a release.

King stated the death is the 114th from a Georgia fire in 2021.

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